VIEW FROM THE HILL

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN PAUL PENNER
I try to keep a stack of humorous stories and jokes handy, just in case an attitude adjustment is warranted.

On days like these, when I am worried about the effects of the excess moisture on emerging wheat plants, I must remember that in the end, worrying does not help all that much.

Perhaps we all could use a lighter perspective on the matters at hand. Since the boys of summer are battling it out in the World Series, here are a few humorous quotes that might do the trick;

Ralph DeLeonardis, minor league baseball umpire, commented on a disputed call, “I blew it the way I saw it.”

We all have crosses to bear, I suppose. But I don’t think he really admitted to making a bad call. In any case, it’s still funny, no matter what his intent was.

Dizzy Dean once quipped, “The Yankees, as I told you later, are in a slump.”

Not any more. At least their fans hope it is not true. Who knows, maybe the slump is yet to come. Florida has a reputation for making miracles happen late in the series.

Sportscaster Ralph Kiner reported an unusual occurrence during a game: “He swings and he is hit by the pitch. And it is hit over the wall and out of here for a home run.”

Ouch! That pitch must have really hurt.

How about this real-life experience: Some people believe the Cubs lost momentum in a decisive game, thanks to an excited fan who deflected a fly ball that might have been caught.

I know, Cubs fans do not think it is funny. But the key thought here is, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Imagine sitting in the stands during the World Series and reading this ad that appears on the big screen, “Drink Coors and get diarrhea.”

No, it did not happen. But, according to my sources, the Coors beer slogan “Turn it loose,” when translated into Spanish, suggests an entirely different outcome than having a “fun party,” as the ad wants to suggest.

Actually, I would have no objection if the Spanish meaning were the correct outcome. Who knows, perhaps more “accidents” would merely entail a hurried trip to the bathroom instead of the emergency room.

In any case, the word pictures this joke creates in one’s mind can be quite funny-if one entertains such thoughts. But I will leave it to the readers to come up with their own pictures. No help needed.

Shifting the focus from games to real life, I discovered these new definitions of financial terms in an Internet chat room. They seemed to be ironically true at the time.

The energy company Enron was in the news, as was the accounting firm, Arthur Anderson, who allegedly engaged in illegal schemes that eventually doomed them to financial hardships, not to mention losing billions of dollars for Enron’s shareholders and employees.

Here are a few beauties:

n CEO: Chief Embezzlement Officer

n Bull market: A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.

n Standard & Poor: Your life in a nutshell.

n Market Correction: The day after you buy stocks.

n Value investing: The art of buying low and selling lower.

With a little effort, one can come up with similar definitions in the agricultural commodities markets. Like these, created by yours truly:

n Market advisor: A true contrarian. He advises to sell, the markets go up. He advises to buy, the markets go down.

n Liquidity: The flow of money from your bank account to someone else’s.

n Bull Call Spread: The emasculation principle of using options.

n Straddles: More of the same, only a lot more painful if one is not careful.

n Out of the money: What you are.

n In the money: What your broker is.

n At the money: Lien holders in waiting.

n Market correction: The day before you decide to sell.

n Upward trend: The day after you sell.

n Short sellers: Ten thousand investors who sold your wheat on paper trades.

n Long traders: Ten thousand investors who own your wheat on paper trades.

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